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Council Tax Reduction: April to June 2020

Quarterly statistics on Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme, which reduces liability of lower income households in Scotland.

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1. CTR Recipients

Chart 1 (page 1) shows the number of CTR recipients in Scotland increasing across April and May 2020, with the numbers remaining broadly similar between May and June 2020. These figures show a sharp rise of 4.4 per cent (20,790 recipients) from the previously reported 469,370 CTR recipients in March 2020 to 490,160 in April 2020. This is the biggest monthly rise in CTR recipients observed since the scheme was devolved in April 2013. We know that Covid-19 (where "lockdown" began on 24 March 2020) has affected employment in Scotland with a knock-on impact on CTR claims. The number of CTR recipients by local authority in April 2020 can be seen in Table 1 below.

Table 1: CTR Recipients by Local Authority, March to April 2020 1,2
  Mar-20 Apr-20 % Change (Mar-Apr 20)
Scotland 469,370 490,160 4.4%
Aberdeen City 13,720 13,790 0.5%
Aberdeenshire 12,020 13,130 9.2%
Angus 8,530 9,150 7.2%
Argyll and Bute 6,580 7,100 7.9%
City of Edinburgh 32,740 34,010 3.9%
Clackmannanshire 5,020 5,370 6.9%
Dumfries and Galloway 13,280 14,230 7.1%
Dundee City 17,340 18,130 4.6%
East Ayrshire 12,920 13,430 3.9%
East Dunbartonshire 5,490 6,040 10.1%
East Lothian 6,710 6,940 3.4%
East Renfrewshire 4,240 4,480 5.6%
Falkirk 12,550 12,890 2.7%
Fife 29,570 30,360 2.7%
Glasgow City 87,580 90,400 3.2%
Highland 16,690 18,650 11.7%
Inverclyde 9,620 10,040 4.4%
Midlothian 5,990 6,100 1.8%
Moray 5,460 5,740 5.1%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 2,100 2,160 2.7%
North Ayrshire 16,820 17,690 5.1%
North Lanarkshire 35,730 36,840 3.1%
Orkney Islands 1,270 1,360 7.7%
Perth and Kinross 8,090 8,430 4.2%
Renfrewshire 17,830 18,690 4.8%
Scottish Borders 8,370 8,980 7.4%
Shetland Islands 1,070 1,140 5.7%
South Ayrshire 10,390 10,510 1.1%
South Lanarkshire 30,130 31,780 5.5%
Stirling 5,420 5,550 2.4%
West Dunbartonshire 11,370 11,240 -1.2%
West Lothian 14,760 15,850 7.4%

1 Recipients are as at monthly count date. See Methodology Notes, Section 2 for more details. Available at www.gov.scot/publications/council-tax-reduction
2 Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to total due to rounding. Percentage change are based on unrounded figures.

As can be seen, most local authorities recorded an increase in CTR recipients between March and April 2020 ranging from 0.5 per cent (Aberdeen City) to 11.7 per cent (Highland) whilst West Dunbartonshire was the only council to record a decrease[1] (-1.2 per cent). In total, two-thirds (66 per cent) of local authorities recorded a rise between 3 per cent and 9 per cent across these 2 months. Factors reported which can explain variations in percentage change between local authorities are initial processing delays, different characteristics of regional populations, additional pressures on local authority resources related to Covid-19 and the introduction of the Furlough scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which may have caused fluctuations in CTR recipient figures across local authorities.

Between April and May 2020, a further increase was recorded in Scotland of 1.6 per cent (7,800 recipients) to 497,950 in May 2020. The rise in CTR recipients amongst local authorities was more moderate than the rise recorded in April 2020, with the largest increase being 5.0 per cent (Renfrewshire) followed by 4.5 per cent (City of Edinburgh) and 3.4 per cent (Orkney Islands). These rises may be a result of the continued economic impacts from Covid-19 with most local authorities recording a greater number of additional CTR recipients in April 2020 than in May 2020. Of the 32 local authorities, 7 recorded a decrease in CTR recipients in May 2020 with the largest decrease recorded in East Dunbartonshire (-1.4 per cent). These decreases may be a result of short term CTR recipients no longer eligible for CTR.

At the end of this quarter, the number of CTR recipients in Scotland remained broadly flat at 497,960 in June 2020. There was a levelling out in most local authorities as 25 recorded either an increase or decrease between 0 and 1 per cent from May 2020. The largest increase in June 2020 was 2.2 per cent (City of Edinburgh) followed by 1.0 per cent (Dundee City), whilst Inverclyde recorded the largest decrease (-1.6 per cent).

Table 2: CTR Recipients by Local Authority, April to June 2020 1,2
  Apr-20 May-20 Jun-20 % Change (Apr-Jun 20)
Scotland 490,160 497,950 497,960 1.6%
Aberdeen City 13,790 14,110 14,220 3.1%
Aberdeenshire 13,130 13,410 13,240 0.9%
Angus 9,150 9,110 9,010 -1.5%
Argyll and Bute 7,100 7,170 7,130 0.5%
City of Edinburgh 34,010 35,530 36,310 6.8%
Clackmannanshire 5,370 5,510 5,540 3.2%
Dumfries and Galloway 14,230 14,220 14,240 0.1%
Dundee City 18,130 18,140 18,310 1.0%
East Ayrshire 13,430 13,650 13,660 1.8%
East Dunbartonshire 6,040 5,960 5,930 -1.9%
East Lothian 6,940 7,070 7,060 1.7%
East Renfrewshire 4,480 4,580 4,590 2.5%
Falkirk 12,890 13,020 12,970 0.6%
Fife 30,360 30,460 30,410 0.2%
Glasgow City 90,400 93,380 93,410 3.3%
Highland 18,650 18,500 18,230 -2.3%
Inverclyde 10,040 10,100 9,940 -1.0%
Midlothian 6,100 6,170 6,160 1.0%
Moray 5,740 5,850 5,850 1.9%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 2,160 2,170 2,160 -0.1%
North Ayrshire 17,690 17,650 17,450 -1.3%
North Lanarkshire 36,840 37,350 37,550 1.9%
Orkney Islands 1,360 1,410 1,410 3.5%
Perth and Kinross 8,430 8,370 8,340 -1.0%
Renfrewshire 18,690 19,620 19,660 5.2%
Scottish Borders 8,980 9,130 9,110 1.4%
Shetland Islands 1,140 1,150 1,160 1.9%
South Ayrshire 10,510 10,510 10,450 -0.5%
South Lanarkshire 31,780 32,010 31,970 0.6%
Stirling 5,550 5,650 5,650 1.9%
West Dunbartonshire 11,240 11,340 11,360 1.1%
West Lothian 15,850 15,670 15,510 -2.2%

1 Recipients are as at monthly count date. See Methodology Notes, Section 2 for more details. Available at www.gov.scot/publications/council-tax-reduction
2 Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to total due to rounding. Percentage change are based on unrounded figures.

During this quarter, the number of CTR recipients in Scotland increased by 1.6 per cent from 490,160 in April 2020 to 497,960 in June 2020. The rise between April and June 2020 is not the general pattern seen for the same period in previous years for the reasons mentioned above. This is the first rise in CTR recipients between these months as all previous years recorded a decrease or remained broadly flat. Covid-19 has resulted in more individuals becoming eligible to claim for CTR as their financial circumstances have been affected. The CTR recipient levels in Scotland at the end of the quarter are therefore now similar to the levels seen 4 years ago in June 2016. The number of CTR recipients for each local authority between April and June 2020 is shown in Table 2.

Chart 2 below shows the number of CTR recipients by local authority as a proportion of the Scottish CTR population for June 2020 in descending order. It can be seen that Glasgow City continues to account for the highest proportion, with almost one fifth of all recipients in Scotland. That is more than twice the number of recipients in North Lanarkshire (the next highest ranking authority). In contrast, the three island authorities continue to account for just 1 per cent when combined together, with Shetland Islands accounting for the least (0.2 per cent).

The five local authorities with the highest numbers of CTR recipients accounted for almost half (46 per cent) of the total number of CTR recipients in Scotland in June 2020. This can be attributed to the size of the local authorities where those with larger populations may be expected to have a higher number of CTR claimants and therefore recipients. These five local authorities are:

  • Glasgow City accounting for 19 per cent (93,410 recipients);
  • North Lanarkshire accounting for 8 per cent (37,550 recipients);
  • City of Edinburgh accounting for 7 per cent (36,310 recipients);
  • South Lanarkshire accounting for 6 per cent (31,970 recipients); and
  • Fife accounting for 6 per cent (30,410 recipients).
Chart 2: CTR Recipients by Local Authority as a proportion of the Scottish CTR Population, June 2020
Bar chart: CTR Recipients by Local Authority as a proportion of Scottish CTR Population in June 2020

Contact

Email: eddie.Chan@gov.scot

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